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Books we use a lot


Like everybody else in this business Sweetbay has an extensive library of design books. I tend to take them off the shelf whenever I feel stuck or uninspired. Throughout the year I'll share some of our favorite sources with you. Some of these books are available from bookstores or your on-line retailer but others you will find only at used book stores or garage sales.

A book that we have been absolutely mesmerized by is Zen Gardens: The complete works of Shunmyo Masuno by Mira Locher. Masuno is not only a Zen Buddhist priest but he is also considered to be one of the most influential garden designers of the last 20 years. His commissions range from temples and upscale hotels to private residences in Europe and the United States. The book collects 37 of Masuno's gardens; the photographs are stunning and most of the gardens are illustrated with the architectural drawings.

Mira Locher, an architect and teacher, has done a spectacular job putting this book together. She lets the gardens speak for themselves and concentrates on the various intentions and disciplines that Masuno has articulated in his work. As a bonus there is a chapter that details the entire design and construction process at the Samukawa Shrine and a chapter that contains an extensive conversation between Masuno and Locher.

Published by Tuttle 2012.

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